Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends


Worship Opportunities at the 2021 Gathering

May way open as we worship together at the Gathering. Opening and closing worship for the community book-end our week.  Opportunities to celebrate, mourn, sing, center, heal, and pray will be listed in the Daily Bulletin, along with queries for reflection. The Silent Center will offer an oasis for quiet, personal worship, and each workshop will include worship or worship sharing. Groups like FLGBTQC, People of Color Center, and Nontheist Friends will host worship or worship sharing opportunities during the week. As you prepare for the Gathering, consider how you might connect with Spirit within, broaden your concept of worship, and remain open to new ways of knowing the Divine, in this time of radical change.

All Gathering Welcome and Opening Worship

Sunday, June 27, evening 

Join the Gathering community in welcome and waiting worship as we prepare to embark on a week of experimentation, spiritual exploration, and fellowship.

Bible Half-Hour with Benigno Sánchez-Eppler

Benigno Sánchez-Eppler brings wide experience and deep love of the Bible to the 2021 Gathering. He will bring us into conversation with early Friends whose manner of living in the certainty that Way Has Already Opened can speak to our own present urgency and show us a path forward.

Benigno came among Quakers for the first time in 1981 when he found his way to meeting for worship at Jesus Lane, Cambridge, England. He became a member of the Religious Society of Friends at Homewood in Baltimore Yearly Meeting in the mid 1980s. During the 1990s he joined the joy and effort of Northampton Friends, as they launched a brand new monthly meeting in Western Massachusetts, and he also worked with Cuban and New England Friends to create a sister yearly meeting relationship that the Holy Spirit keeps going strong today.

Benigno, still a member of Northampton Friends in New England Yearly Meeting, has traveled in the Ministry among Friends in Cuba, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Central America, US Pacific Northwest, Rwanda, and Ireland. He has clerked his monthly meeting, and served as recording clerk both for Northampton Friends and NEYM. He led the Bible Half-hours at the Sessions of NEYM in 2007, and at the FGC Gathering in 2008. He teaches at Amherst College, and at the Cuban Quaker Peace Institute of Cuba Yearly Meeting. He has interpreted at international Friends gatherings since 1991. Together with Susan Furry he is a founding co-editor and translator for, an on-line library of Quaker classics in Spanish.

His work as interpreter and translator for the Friends World Committee for Consultation expanded into his service as Co-Clerk of the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, and in the summer of 2014 he served as Field Elder for 26 young friends and 6 adult leaders for 30 days of sojourning among Friends in Perú and Bolivia.  Benigno served as Clerk for FWCC Section of the Americas between 2015 and 2019.

Worship Sharing

Are you seeking a small group experience within the larger Gathering? Do you wish to meet new friends and build community? Worship sharing groups of six to eight people will meet each day to reflect on queries. Those who sign-up ahead of time (by June 13) will worship share with the same Friends each day. When you register for the Gathering, you can indicate your interest in either a morning or an evening worship sharing session, and you’ll be assigned to a group. A drop-in option will also be available in the morning and the evening for those who do not sign-up in advance.

Leadership Needed: Worship sharing group leaders will create and hold a welcoming and safe environment in which Friends can be open to the spirit and to one another. They will meet with the same group throughout the week. They will share and encourage Friends’ use of worship sharing guidelines and mentor Friends who stray from the guidelines. Volunteer when registering to be considered as a worship sharing leader.